The power of workplace learning – three trends to look out for

May 21, 2018 Charles Coy



One in four UK workers say that their job does not offer good opportunities for skills training and development. However, as technology evolves, learning and development opportunities will start to become more accessible, enabling employees to build new skills on the job rather than in a classroom.


Learning is happening all of the time - when we talk to our colleagues, while we’re watching the TV or listening to a podcast, even when we’re scrolling on Twitter. Opportunities to learn present themselves every day, even in ways that may not seem obvious. If a company can mirror this seamless way of learning, employees will be able to develop the skills they need to thrive and lead the company into the future. So, how can you blend the worlds of learning and work and what are some common trends to look out for?


  1. Informal learning is key


In order to take advantage of informal learning, organisations need to encourage their employees to learn a variety of skills that span across the organisation. Today, subject-matter expertise tends to come from different departments however, in the future, we will see experts and business leaders spreading their knowledge and skills across the organisation.


Companies should utilise technology to help harness the power of informal learning. Software like Jira, Slack, Facebook and Salesforce are all helping productivity and collaboration in an organisation, but they must work in tandem with the company’s existing learning platforms. The ability to use these in conjunction with each other will make a powerful impact on the business.


For example, the integration of Cornerstone Learning and Workplace by Facebook – a collaboration product where businesses and teams can interact via tools such as instant messaging, project-focused groups and live video streaming – seamlessly connects the two platforms.


  1. A personalised experience


Today’s consumers demand personalised experiences. From Netflix to Amazon, we receive recommendations tailored to our preferences on a daily basis and this is only going to continue. If organisations want to keep up, offering personalised experiences in the workplace will be a must.


Personalised learning creates an exciting and engaging experience for employees, placing them at the centre of their own learning experience. Giving your employees access to the exact learning materials and tools they need to develop in their career will increase their productivity and contribute towards business success.


AI and VR are entering the workplace, giving employees the individualised attention they seek. Digital assistants, voice-activated devices and VR training will all be commonplace in the workplace of the future. In fact, 38% of employees expect VR to be part of staff training within the next 10 years. The ability to practice tasks in a virtual environment integrates learning and work from the beginning. It allows employees who may be faced with hazardous situations to practice them out safely, but in an engaging and personalised way. Using AI and VR also allows employees to learn at their own pace and identify specific tasks they may need assistant with.


Utilise these technologies and allow your employees to create their own personalised learning experiences.


  1. A part of everyday life


Making learning a part of everyday life will give employees the confidence they need to tackle projects and tasks both in their department and across the organisation. Start by having the content available on mobiles, tablets, laptops etc. to make learning an easy and accessible experience.


However, providing the tools and content then leaving your employees to it isn’t enough. Support and guidance on the learning content is essential and employees must know where they can go for credible information. This will ensure that the learning experience is seamless.


As learning becomes a part of everyday life, learning and work will truly blend. As technology evolves and learning opportunities become more accessible, companies will be able to empower their employees and establish active learning experiences, resulting in increased employee engagement and overall business success. Look out for these workplace learning trends and see if your organisation can accommodate far more personalised, everyday learning experiences.


About the Author

Charles Coy

Charles Coy is to the Cornerstone Blog what air is to fire. Charles is interested in the ways that technology can impact how organizations evaluate, motivate and value their employees. Charles brings a background in public policy analysis and research to Cornerstone. Having studied regional economic development and education policy, Charles originally came to the company with a focus on the convergence of technology and higher education.  He has worked in every dark corner of Cornerstone since the early days of the company more than 15 years ago.

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